"La Familia doesn’t kill for money, doesn’t kill women, doesn’t kill innocent people. It only kills those who deserve to die. Everyone should know this: Divine justice."--message left with five severed heads on the dance floor of the Sol y Sombra nightclub in Uruapan, Michoacan, September 6, 2006.
I've posted a series at my blog on the connection between Focus on the Family veteran, evangelical author John Eldredge and La Familia Michoacana, one of Mexico's most violent drug cartels. Excerpts and link to the series follow...
A week ago Saturday, an internal intelligence report from the Mexican justice department on the drug cartel, La Familia surface, bringing the news that the faith-based cartel grounds its indoctrination program on the writings of macho Christian author and veteran Focus On The Family senior fellow John Eldredge, who now heads Ransomed Hearts Ministries in Colorado Springs.
There are four separate references to Eldredge in the Mexican intelligence memo on La Familia. The cartel has conducted a three-year recruitment and PR campaign across Michoacan featuring thousands of billboards and banderas carrying their evangelical message and warnings. La Familia is known for tagging its executions and other mayhem as "la divina justica"--divine justice.
The report says La Familia leader, Nazario Gonzalez Moreno aka El Loco o More Chayo ("The Craziest") has made Eldredge's books required reading for La Familia and has paid rural teachers and National Development Education members to circulate the Colorado-based evangelical's writings throughout the Michoacan countryside. Federal intelligence officers in Mexico described La Familia leader Moreno as a "religious zealot" who totes around his self-published book of "aphorisms" based on the Bible and Eldredge's writings. In the searches and arrests targeting La Familia across Michoacan, the one common denominator federal forces found, along with assault rifles, grenades and drugs, were copies of Eldredge's Wild At Heart. (Salvaje de Corazon).
At FOTF, Eldredge led Dobson's anti-gay crusade. Here is Rev. Mel White's account of a May 1994 meeting in Colorado in a letter White sent to Dobson:
John Eldredge, the first, key-note speaker. "The gay agenda, " he claimed quite falsely, has all the elements of that which is truly evil. It is deceptive at every turn...It deceives those who are drawn into it, who embrace it. It presents an extraordinary deceptive face to the public at large."
The drug cartel La Familia Michoacana is, as one Mexican intelligence analyst put it, "unique."
From all available information so far, it appears that La Familia has developed into a faith-based right-wing populist social movement emanating from and orchestrated by an organization that happens to be a well-armed, well-financed violent criminal enterprise.
La Familia has branched out from the production and transport of drugs, diversifying into counterfeiting, extortion, kidnapping, armed robbery, prostitution and car dealerships. They've gone so far beyond bribery that people in Michoacan are paying mony to La Familia in lieu of taxes to the government. According to the recent Mexican federal police report on La Familia, there are 9,000 members of the La Familia "sect."
The federales are now viewing La Familia as more of a guerrilla group than a straight-foward drug cartel. Unlike other cartels, La Familia goes beyond the production and distribution of marijuana, meth, cocaine and heroin and into the political realm. The report goes on to say that La Familia has "created a cult-like mystique and developed pseudo-evangelical recruitment techniques that are unique in Mexico."
(Read the full story--in three parts--at my blog July Dogs...